The 17th day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament saw leaders from all political hues attending proceedings to mark the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to pledge to create a "new India", one free of poverty, illiteracy and corruption, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi used her speech in the Lok Sabha to underline the contributions of the Congress and Jawaharlal Nehru.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan called for a 'Unite India Movement'. "During the Independence movement, our people had worked very hard to mobilise the 'Quit India Movement', but today, after so many years of Independence, I think we need a Bharat jodo andolan (Unite India Movement)," she said.
Prime minister Modi then addressed the Lower House. Terming corruption, poverty and illiteracy as the greatest challenges, Modi called for special initiatives to end all such ills in the next five years, with the pledge of Karenge Aur Kar Ke Rahenge (We will do and surely do).
The prime minister said there is a need to create the same spirit that existed between 1942 and 1947. He urged citizens to take a pledge to build a 'new India' by 2022.
"In 1942, the clarion call was Karenge Ya Marenge (Do or Die); today it is Karenge Aur Kar Ke Rahenge. The next five years should also be about Sankalp Se Siddhi, a resolve which will lead us to accomplishment," Modi said.
After Modi, Sonia Gandhi addressed the Lower House of Parliament. She expressed apprehension whether the "forces of darkness" were trying to destroy the roots of democracy, and took a veiled jibe at the RSS, saying some organisations had opposed the Quit India movement and played no role in the freedom movement. She further said there was a feeling that the "clouds of the politics of division and hate" are hovering over India's plurality and egalitarian values enshrined in the Constitution.
"It seems secular, democratic and liberals values are being endangered. The public space for debate and difference of opinion is shrinking... Have the forces of darkness emerged? Is there a fear about the existence of a sense of freedom? Are attempts being made to destroy roots of democracy which is based on equality, social justice, law-based system and freedom of expression," Gandhi said.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day after paying tribute to former Union minister and BJP MP from Ajmer Sanwar Lal Jat who passed away on Wednesday.
Meanwhile in the Rajya Sabha
Union minister Arun Jaitley told the Upper House that Indian armed forces are strong enough to meet any challenge to the country's security. While referring to the Quit India Movement, he said, India had faced many challenges over these decades but "we can proudly say the country became stronger with each challenge".
He said India had "learnt a lesson" from the 1962 war with China, that "the armed forces will have be made fully capable on our own, because even today the nation faces challenges from our neighbouring countries".
While the Lok Sabha saw relatively quiet proceedings, Rajya Sabha was disrupted multiple times after Opposition parties raked up the issue of credibility of Indian currency notes.
The Lower House witnessed two adjournments, as the Opposition and treasury benches stuck to their respective stands before the chair called it a day.
While the government wanted to push the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill for consideration and passage, the Congress-led Opposition members wanted to discuss the contentious issue of Chandigarh stalking case and discrepancies in the printing of new currency notes.
The house was adjourned after Opposition leaders made it difficult to continue with business unless their concern over currency notes and the Chandigarh stalking case were heard and acknowledged.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Aug 09, 2017 19:54 PM